AFTER CLOSE TO two decades of fighting, the U.S. war in Afghanistan might be close to an end. Against long odds, the Afghan Taliban seems not only to have survived its conflict with the United States but is today negotiating terms in Qatar-based talks about its future role in Afghan politics. One of the remaining issues in the peace talks is the matter of prisoners of war held by all sides. Thousands of Taliban prisoners have been released by the U.S.-backed Afghan government in recent months, part of a process intended to build goodwill and settle accounts from the conflict.
The U.S. itself also has an ongoing, direct role in prisoner releases — a delicate political situation that could create a hang-up in the talks. Thousands of Afghans have been held in U.S. prison facilities over the two long decades of the war, either in Afghanistan itself or at covert “black sites” abroad. Two of the U.S.’s Afghan prisoners, though, remain imprisoned at the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba: Muhammad Rahim and Asadullah Haroon. Their fate has now become a point of contention in the peace talks, with the Taliban reportedly asking the U.S. to release them as part of any final agreement.
Read more at The Intercept.